Greg Wyshynski

  • Eric Lindros finally justifies the hype

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago

    Roughly 26 years before Eric Lindros became a Hockey Hall of Famer, he was already being treated as such.

    He was “The Next One.” He was a player whose combination of strength, size and offensive gifts was unmatched for a young player.

    To understand the hype, the anticipation, the mania surrounding Lindros as he neared entrance into the NHL, just open up a wax pack of hockey cards, circa 1990.

    That was when Score, the trading card company, made the unprecedented move of signing up Lindros to an exclusive endorsement deal as a junior hockey player. So a year before Lindros was eligible to be drafted, his “FUTURE SUPERSTAR” rookie card depicting him as a member of the OHL Oshawa Generals was already being coveted, as a part of a multi-card set.

    This is not how things were done.

    Again, this is not how things were done.

    “There’s a void there,” admitted Lindros about his lack of a Stanley Cup ring.

    Again, this is not how things were done.

    “It feels full circle, if you understand that,” said Lindros.

    Full circle, indeed.

    I mean, there are few greater narratives to apply to a boy form London, Ontario ... 

  • Eric Lindros makes Hockey Hall of Fame, leads surprising 2016 class

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 8 hrs ago

    Eric Lindros is a Hockey Hall of Famer. 

    Lindros, who dominated for a stretch of years with the Philadelphia Flyers before concussions cut his years short, was elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday along with Sergei Makarov, the long-time Russian scoring champ; Rogie Vachon, long-time NHL goaltender; and coaching great Pat Quinn as a builder.

    Lindros is 19th in NHL history in points per game average with 1.138. He won the Hart and the Pearson in 1995. He has just 760 NHL career games, however, in a concussion-plagued career. But after Cam Neely and Pavel Bure made the Hockey Hall of Fame, the lack of games-played became less controversial. And as Bure showed, the operative word in the title of the place is FAME.

    Lindros had it. He changed the game in the 1990s. He belongs here.

    Quinn was a given, and gets in over Don Cherry as a builder. He won the Jack Adams twice (1980 and 1992), Olympic gold in 2002 and other titles. He has 684 coaching wins, seventh all-time. Quinn passed away in Nov. 2014.

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  • Sportsnet makes big changes to NHL coverage lineup for 2016-17

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 9 hrs ago

    There are plenty of reasons why there were lackluster ratings for Sportsnet’s second season of its billion-dollar deal with the NHL. Chiefly, it’s because it's a Canadian network covering Canadian teams that all finished outside the playoffs; and in the case of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the primary team it covers was intentionally attempting to lose as much as possible. 

    But this is a $5.2-billion, 12-year NHL deal. Which means anything that doesn’t meet lofty expectations was going to necessitate changes. And the changes have arrived. 

    We already learned that George Stroumboulopoulos would be replaced as host by the host he replaced, Ron MacLean. In fact, Stroumboulopoulos has left the company.

    “George is an extremely versatile and creative broadcaster and we value the contributions he made to Hockey Night in Canada.  We look forward to seeing what his next great project will be,” said Scott Moore, President of Sportsnet & NHL Properties, Rogers.  “We are continually evaluating and evolving our broadcasts to deliver the best experience for fans.”

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  • ESPN reveals its World Cup of Hockey coverage plans

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago

    One of the biggest storylines from the revival of the World Cup of Hockey is the revival of the NHL’s relationship with ESPN. 

    It’s not always been the smoothest relationship: The lowball offer that led the NHL to cast its lot with Comcast and NBC; the lack of coverage through the years because it wasn’t an ESPN rights property; and, going back a few years, the way hockey was shoved aside for flavor-of-the-minute things like poker tournaments, irking fans.

    So what will the coverage look and sound like when the World Cup returns to the World Wide Leader in September?

    ESPN released the details on Monday:

    NHL studio analyst Barry Melrose, SportsCenter anchors Steve Levy and John Buccigross and former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes will call ESPN’s telecasts of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre from September 17 – October 1.

    On the studio side, I don’t get it.

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  • Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2016: Who gets in?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago

    The Hockey Hall of Fame will announce its Class of 2016 on Monday afternoon. It’s one of those classes that considered a “down year,” in that the first-time candidate crop is rather paltry (or in one instance, “Palffy”). This opens the door for some holdovers from previous years, including that paragon of controversy, Eric Lindros.

    The following odds were established through previous votes, discussions with those around the hockey world and a feeble attempt at trying to guess what’s on the minds of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

    Keep in mind that there are also categories for Builders and Women’s Players. Don Cherry, Pat Quinn and Viktor Tikhonov are all eligible in the Builder’s Category. Please keep in mind that the Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto.

    Here are the latest odds for the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2016:

    2/1

    Eric Lindros

    Mark Recchi

    If it’s ever going to be Eric’s year, it’s going to be this year.

    The bottom line is that Lindros belongs in the Hall of Fame. And, frankly, in a season that lacks a true star name to build a weekend around, the Hall of Fame could use Eric Lindros in 2016.

    5/1

    Dave Andreychuk

    8/1

  • Alex Radulov keeping his talents in KHL next season: Report

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    When we last left Alexander Radulov, the 30-year-old former Nashville Predators sniper was leaving the Kontinental Hockey League after four seasons for the NHL. 

    The Detroit Red Wings were courting him, offering him a one-year deal in the neighborhood of $5 million, according to MLive.com. Radulov, however, had a different number in mind for his talents: TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Radulov was actually seeking a two-year commitment for a whopping $7.5 million per season.

    That’s Jason Spezza money for a guy who hasn’t been in the NHL since 2012 and whose lasting legacy is missing curfew.

    So Radulov shopped around and, to the surprise of no one not named “Alex Radulov,” apparently couldn’t find an NHL team that met his asking price.

    According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, “Alexander Radulov could not find an NHL team willing to pay his asking price. He has signed with KHL Salavat.”

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  • The 10 most awkward 2016 NHL Draft rookie photos (Gallery)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    BUFFALO, NY – One of our favorite moments of the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo was when the Philadelphia Flyers announced they were taking “Daniel Bernhardt” when they meant “David Bernhardt” and then someone at their draft table said “my bad” afterwards. 

    Because “awkward” is a mandatory part of the draft experience. Especially when it comes to the posed rookie photos they make these poor kids take.

    Here are the 10 (or so) Most Awkward 2016 NHL Draft Rookie Photos, continuing our annual tradition:

    10. Artur Kayumov (No. 50, Chicago Blackhawks)

    That moment when you realize your team just drafted Jason Schwartzman from RUSHMORE.

    9. Rasmus Asplund (No. 33, Buffalo Sabres)

    "MAY I INTEREST YOU IN THIS STICK? IT IS MADE OF ONLY THE HIGHEST QUALITY MICRO-FIBERS. NAME YOUR PRICE, SIR, BUT I ASSURE YOU THAT MONEY SHOULD BE NO OBJECT WHEN IT COMES TO A PIECE OF THIS EXQUISITE NATURE."

    8. Jakob Chychrun (No. 16, Arizona Coyotes) 

    GM John Chayka looks on in horror as his first-round selection, David Beckham by way of David Bowie, accidentally stuck a secondary pair of tiny mutant dinosaur arms through his jersey sleeves. 

    "I see that it just did."

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  • NHL Draft 2016: Winners and losers

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    BUFFALO, NY – The 2016 NHL Draft weekend in Buffalo has come to a close. There were some surprises, some strange decisions, some glorious moments and, of course, plenty of boos for Gary Bettman. 

    Who won? Who lost?

    Here’s how we saw the weekend play out in Buffalo:

    WINNER: Brian Elliott

    The veteran goalie told the St. Louis Blues that he was done platooning with Jake Allen and wanted to be “the guy” somewhere in the final year of his contract. That somewhere is Calgary, where the Flames will give him plenty of starts and a contract extension. Great fit between Elliott’s work-ethic/character and a Flames team that didn’t need a seven-year commitment to someone like Ben Bishop.

    LOSER: Kevin Shattenkirk 

    According to his agent, the Blues defenseman expected to be traded at the draft given their conversations with the team. Instead, he remains twisting in the wind as two potential trading partners – the Coyotes and Sabres – may have moved on

    WINNER: Detroit Red Wings 

    LOSER: Jim Benning

    WINNER: Toronto Maple Leafs 

    LOSER: Montreal Canadiens

    WINNER: Falling Forward

    LOSER: Zach Sawchenko

    LOSER: Sweden

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  • Steven Stamkos sweepstakes: Buffalo Sabres are chasing ‘big fish’

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    BUFFALO, NY – NHL teams had their first chance to speak with the agents for prized free agent Steven Stamkos after the first day of the NHL Draft. (Well, legally, right Vancouver?

    So who's in the Stamkos Sweepstakes?

    The Buffalo Sabres have declared their intention to go after him if the star center doesn’t resign with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    “The next conversation I have with [Stamkos’ agents], because we’re allowed to now, is to just ask if Steven is going to be available on July 1 and would he have an interest in Buffalo,” said GM Tim Murray. “I plan to. I think I plan to.”

    Murray was more than forthright about why he felt the Sabres were in a position to “chase the big fish” this offseason. Obviously, with billionaire Terry Pegula’s financial blessing, the Sabres can offer Stamkos as much money as any other NHL suitor can. What the Sabres also offer, however, is the chance to play and live near his native Ontario while playing on a team slightly closer to contention than, say, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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  • Trevor Linden says tampering comments were ‘rather innocent’

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    BUFFALO, NY – Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning is facing punishment from the NHL over tampering charges. Several teams voiced concerns over a radio interview in which Benning openly discussed Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos while both were under contract. 

    His boss, team president Trevor Linden, acknowledges Benning may have gone too far. But ultimately, he said, the comments were harmless.

    “I talked with Bill [Daly], and he recognized that they were rather innocent comments. At the time, in an effort to be candid and honest, he probably crossed the line somewhat. I think they were rather innocent. We’ll see what the league says on Monday,” said Linden, referencing NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who said at the NHL Draft on Sunday that the League will likely “announce something this week” as far as punishment.

    Linden said the relationship between Benning and Bergevin is actually agreeable.

    “They were considering it and talked about it. We’ll hear more on Monday,” he said.

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